Saturday, March 26, 2016

He or She Said What?

I'm finally at the last (I hope) phase of editing The Beast, otherwise known as my novel. This is where I'm sweeping through, reading it from beginning to end, reading it aloud when I can, which makes for some curious, entertained, or annoyed looks from people at coffee shops. And this has been an education so far. I think it's the first time I've read it start-to-finish.

Always before I worked on specific sections, revising, doing damage control. Now I'm reading it through for the first time, and without being so concerned about major reparations now, I can enjoy it. And I see it differently. I can see patterns, check on the flow of my work, consistency. Now with a deeper understanding of my characters, I can fix or delete or move a sentence when I know it's something one of my people wouldn't say. Stuff pops out at me now that I never saw before, and it's easier to make corrections.

Repeat sentences I spot quickly now, and the Thesaurus is my best friend as I find that I've used the same word three (or more) times in the same paragraph. Sentence style and structure hits me like a hammer, and I can see when I have way too many of 'he said', or 'she said'. I've learned that if it's two people talking, and only those two, and it's clear who's saying what, I don't always have to include 'said so-and-so'. It's obvious.

Anyway, that's where I am now, and I'm moving forward like a slow-motion tidal wave, eventually reaching my goal.

For anyone who hasn't read their work all the way through, I highly recommend it. It's an education.

Keep writing, friends.

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